Microsoft is reportedly gearing up to buy Obsidian Entertainment – the studio best known for Fallout New Vegas and Knights of the Old Republic 2 – according to industry insiders.
Kotaku reports that it has heard from three sources close to negotiations, and that the deal is “90% finished”. Another source told the site that “it’s a question of when, not if”.
Obsidian has remained an independent studio since its formation in 2003, and are behind a number of popular RPG adventures. They released Knights of the Old Republic II in 2004, and Fallout New Vegas in 2010, earning themselves plenty of fans along the way.
The California-based studio reportedly nearly went out of business back in 2012, before signing a deal to work on an online tank game. More recently, they launched a Kickstarter to fund isometric RPG Pillars of Eternity.
The studio was founded by veterans of the RPG genre, bringing in staff who worked on classics such as Fallout 2, Planescape: Torment, and Icewind Dale. Needless to say, their loss would be felt by RPG enthusiasts everywhere.
When pressed for details, Microsoft said simply:
We do not comment on rumors or speculation.
Brilliantly, an Obsidian spokesperson also responded:
Unfortunately, we don’t comment on rumors or speculation other than to say that the Rumors album by Fleetwood Mac still holds up.
Yeah… you can’t shut down a studio capable of throwing out gems like that.
It’s a good thing that the Microsoft deal certainly seems likely, then – especially since an insider told Kotaku that Microsoft is looking to bolster its PC development, which the PC-focused Obsidian would be a great fit for.
We can assume they’ll have Obsidian working on RPG titles, since those are very much in the studio’s wheelhouse. A strong, exclusive first-party RPG for the next Xbox console would certainly be a welcome launch title.
Microsoft has been on something of a spending spree recently, picking up a string of studios over the last 12 months, including Playground and Ninja Theory.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.